Fleetwood Mock Trial Team Completes Round 1 of Regionals

Posted on March 4, 2021 by


“I know our team is very strong. But there’s always uncertainty when judges and jurors are evaluating us,” Mock Trial Advisor Mrs. Molly Sherman said.

This year, Fleetwood’s Mock Trial team has been going through trials for the District competition. While it’s different because of Zoom, the team is doing well, so far winning all three of their competitions.

Sherman took over the Mock Trial team in 2012 after her predecessor retired. Under her tutelage, the Mock Trial team has won Law Day, the county tournament, five years running, and won Districts for the very first time in 2020. Sadly, they were unable to move on to States as the tournament was completely canceled due to COVID.

Districts are set up with thirteen teams having code names so the acting judge and jurors have no opportunity to be biased. Each team then goes through two trials, and those who win both trials move on. This year, five teams moved on, including Fleetwood, whose plaintiff won against Wyoming Seminary and the defense won against Northampton.

On Thursday, February 24, Fleetwood’s defense achieved another victory over Daniel Boone, so they move on to play Nazareth, one of the top competitors, on Tuesday. All of the members of the team miss the courtroom setting of the past and are struggling with technical issues as trials go on. 

“There are too many degrees of separation between the players and the jury, which makes it an uphill climb the whole time,” Sherman said. 

Luckily, she is armed with a great team of witnesses and lawyers, with three seniors who are excited to have a final crack at it before graduating. Aidan Kotsch, a senior lawyer, favors being a lawyer over a witness. His specialty is the expert witnesses, the ones who are usually doctors.

“My favorite part is cross-examination, when I can get really creative and trip them up,” Kotsch said. 

Aidan later wants to continue Mock Trial in college and study to be a lawyer for adoption and fostering cases.

Natalie Slusser, the only junior on the team, is also a lawyer, and an amazing one at that.  

“As an attorney, I love essentially everything I have to do!” Slusser said. “ It takes up a lot of my free time, but I love doing it, so I can’t complain.”

Slusser is super talented and dedicated, even being able to gain a spot her freshman year by challenging another member for his spot as a witness. Daniel Boone even named her the best attorney for Fleetwood during Thursday’s trial. Their next trial is against Nazareth, a team that is usually the powerhouse, but they all have hopes that they’re prepared enough to end up on top once the smoke clears.

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Posted in: Madeline Ammon